The Irrelevance of National Strategies? Rural Poverty Dynamics in States and Regions of India, 1993-2005
Summary Examining panel data for more than 13,000 rural Indian households over the 12-year period 1993-94 to 2004-05 shows that two parallel and opposite flows regularly reconfigure the national stock of poverty. Some formerly poor people have escaped poverty; concurrently, some formerly non-poor people have fallen into poverty. These simultaneous inward and outward flows are asymmetric in terms of reasons. One set of reasons is associated with the flow into poverty, but a different set of reasons is associated with the flow out of poverty. Both sets of reasons vary considerably across and within states. No factor matters consistently across all states of India. Standardized national policies do not represent the best use of available resources. Diverse threats and different opportunities must be identified and tackled at the sub-national level.
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